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Michael Crawford

Almost any statement that one might wish to make about the colonate as an institution of the Late Roman Empire is contestable. It would probably be widely agreed that evidence begins to appear in the 4th cent. ce for coloni who are not simply tenants, but who are adscripti (assigned), adscripticii (characterized by their being assigned), originarii (characterized by reference to their origo), inquilini (inhabitants of a place); that the term coloni, tout court, is sometimes used to refer to these categories; and that the three distinguishing features of these categories are (1) that their agreement with the landowner included a provision that made him liable for the payment of their taxes, which is not the same as to say that he collected them, (2) that they were registered accordingly in the census, and (3) that they owed services to the landowner. By way of contrast, ‘free’ coloni, who co-existed with the categories just described, owed no such services. A necessary condition for the existence of the categories in question is the possibility for an estate to be the origo of someone, as well as a city or village; it cannot be determined when this possibility emerged, but presumably during the 3rd cent.



Arnold Hugh Martin Jones

Indictio under the Principate meant the compulsory purchase of food, clothing, and other goods for the army and the court. Owing to the inflation of the mid-3rd cent. ce the payments made for such purchases became derisory and were finally abandoned. From the time of *Diocletian the term indictio was applied to the annual assessment of all levies in kind made by the praetorian prefects: the indictio declared the amount of each item (wheat, barley, wine, oil, clothing, etc. ) payable on each fiscal unit (caput, iugum, etc. ). From 287, indictions were numbered serially in cycles of five years, from 312 in cycles of fifteen years. The number of the indiction was regularly used for dating financial years (which began on 1 September) and sometimes for dating other documents. See finance, roman.


The Jewish Patriarchate  

Lee I. Levine

The Jewish Patriarch (Hebr. Nasi) was the leading Jewish communal official in the late Roman and early Byzantine Empires, in both Palestine and the Diaspora. The Patriarchate, which emerged around the turn of the 3rd century under the leadership of Rabbi Judah I, had the support of the Severan dynasty (193–235 ce). The testimony of Origen (Letter to Africanus 14), who lived in Caesarea c. 230, views the function of the “Jewish ethnarch” (another term for Patriarch) as that of a king, enjoying, inter alia, the power of capital punishment.

Non-Jewish sources from the 4th century attest that the Patriarch enjoyed extensive prestige and recognition. The Theodosian Code is particularly revealing in this regard. One decree, issued by the emperors Arcadius and Honorius in 397, spells out the dominance of the Patriarch in a wide range of synagogue affairs; he stood at the head of a network of officials, including archisynagogues, presbyters, and others—all of whom had privileges on a par with the Christian clergy. Together with other realms of Patriarchal authority noted in earlier rabbinic literature, such as making calendrical decisions, declaring public fast days, and issuing bans, the prominence of this office in Jewish communal and religious life had become quite pronounced at this time.